A young man returns to his “home” in a Hungarian town located along the Danube. There, his father has died, his mother taken up with a new man, while his sister, with whom he appears to have had little previous acquaintance, works in the family’s bar. The young man clearly is not welcomed, except by the sister, but he sets up living quarters in an old family shack by the river. As sis and bro grow closer, they are warned repeatedly yet pay no mind. Literally everyone we meet in this movie — except brother, sister and an uncle — is downright unpleasant, and when complications ensue (don’t they always?), there is little question what will happen.
The views of the Danube are lovely indeed, but the humanity we wallow with quickly grow tiresome. All of its activities are joyless and bleak. Not one speaks much, so there is little dialog in the film, and this is probably just as well. The film’s slow pace allows us to consider the society of eastern Europe, under the thumbs of feudal lords, the aristocracy, Communist dictatorships and finally — oh god, no — some bastardized form of Capitalism, reducing the populace to a bunch of petty, nasty, small-minded hypocrites.